Forums » Training and Nutrition

Carb & Electrolyte drinks

Hi all... it seems I have a need to use electrolyte drinks when cycling. I've been reading up on them and it seems the best solution would probably be a combination carbohydrate & electrolyte drink. Too much info on the internet so I thought I'd reach out to the experts an EBCC. Any recommendations?


David, My thoughts on the sports drink subject have developed as follows:

  1. Find a product your body can tolerate at the intensity levels you anticipate being at. For me the lighter drinks are better. Hammer Heed is my go to. Other drinks like Gatoraid (of any color) make me ill. However, I can't sip the Heed without hearing Benn Dunn's voice in my head screaming that it tastes like "F*^#!^& baby aspirin". For that reason I opt for strawberry over the lemon lime.

  2. When using a drink mix, I always carry equal amounts of water and drink mix bottles and take a drink from each equally.

  3. If it's really hot and I anticipate needing more electrolytes I'll add an electrolyte capsule to the water bottle. It makes the water a little fizzy like a seltzer but I find it settles my stomach. I have tried the Gu and Camelback brands and both work well for me.

  4. Recovery drinks can be as important as what you carry on the bike. Recoverite works well for me when I remember to use it. Better that beer anyway.

  5. Lastly, and this is me not necessarily others, I don't carry drink mix on a training ride unless it's over 3 hours long and I need the calories. For less than that I prefer just water. I like to save the added boost of the sports drink for races when I need it most.


Back in the dark ages when I was "racing" mountain bikes, I used to suffer a lot from leg cramps. A couple of club members recommended some of the Hammer products, which helped quite a bit. Now I just get brain cramps.

I'll second Pat's recommendation for Heed. I use the orange flavor as I find it fairly tolerable when it gets warm in the bottle. You can vary the mixture, and the flavors are fairly mild. I never found the need to use Perpetuem on longer rides. Instead I'll just take along a flask of Hammer Gel, which I water down a bit to make it easier to drink on the fly.

I can't drink Recoverite; to me it tastes like baby formula. But as soon as I started to see the studies on chocolate skim milk as a recovery drink, I was sold on that.

And I thought it was Wayne who used to whine that Orange Hammer Gel tasted like baby aspirin. Or was he, as usual, just stealing other people's lines?

In reply to DinoSore

Thanks John.